This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Nominations are still open for the Sun Military Awards 2013, but there is just 1 week left before this year's deadline.
The Millies have become a key fixture of the military calendar, offering the British public the chance to pay tribute to the men and women of our Armed Forces and highlighting specific brave deeds.
As nominations for this year’s ceremony close on Monday 9 September, we take a look at some of last year’s winners.
Last year, Army widow Nikki Scott won the Support to the Armed Forces Award for her charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers. The charity supports the children of men and women killed while serving in the Armed Forces.
Nikki set up the charity in August 2010 after her husband Corporal Lee Scott was killed in Afghanistan in July 2009.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers aims to help as many children as possible up to the age of 18 by funding days out and paying for birthday and Christmas presents.
Nikki said at the time:
Winning this is overwhelming but I’m very proud.
Jamie Oliver handed Nikki her award and hailed her ‘wonderful spirit’. He said:
It’s a sacrifice beyond most people made not just by 1 family but by many families. As a dad of 4, it’s probably the hardest award I’ve ever given.
You can’t change what’s happened but what Nikki has done is really important. I’m so impressed.
Praising the Millies, the TV chef said:
It’s completely integral to pay our respects to the people that have done extraordinary things in extraordinary circumstances.
There is not a job like it; we expect a lot and it’s really important that we give these guys a pat on the back and I think that’s what’s so brilliant about the Millies.
3rd Battalion The Rifles
In the 2012 awards the Best Unit accolade went to 3rd Battalion The Rifles (3 RIFLES) for their work on Operation Herrick in Afghanistan.
The unit were part of the Brigade Advisory Group mentoring the Afghan Army and Police. Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha presented the award to the unit, which is based in Edinburgh.
In the summer of 2012, soldiers from 3 RIFLES took on the challenge of training the Afghan security forces. By building trust through shared dangers on the front line, they helped transform the capability of local forces.
This approach was ably demonstrated on the day that Advisor 40 – a company of men that was part of 3 RIFLES – risked their lives to save a badly injured Afghan soldier.
On the day of their arrival to mentor Afghan troops in Lashkar Gah, a rogue Afghan soldier from the base next door shot 2 British servicemen at the gates. Refusing to be cowed, despite the obvious risks, this event showed the dedication of the soldiers to the task at hand.
Just 3 months later, 3 British troops raced over open ground under enemy fire to rescue an Afghan who had been shot, gave life-saving first aid, and then ran back, all under fire. This was just one example of the commitment and courage of the troops carrying out advisory roles in Afghanistan.
Warrant Officer Class 1 (Regimental Sergeant Major) James Mockridge said:
The PM thanked us and said he was really pleased with our achievements in moving the Afghan National Army forward in the campaign. Hopefully it has put us in a better place than when we started.
Asked whether it was the cherry on the cake to have the Prime Minister hand over the award, Warrant Officer Mockridge said:
Most definitely! For our unit, the honour doesn’t get much higher than the Prime Minister giving us an award. It’s not only fantastic for us but for all the riflemen back in Edinburgh.
Nominations for the 2013 Millies will only be accepted for actions occurring in the period 1 September 2012 to 31 August 2013 and can be made via The Sun’s website at www.thesun.co.uk/millies